J.D. White, chief product officer of the newly-formed Anthology, answers some questions eCampus News sent his way regarding the future of higher-ed technology and how institutions redefine themselves as the higher-ed landscape changes—especially in the wake of COVID-19.
What’s your perspective on the state of higher-ed technology?
If you had asked me this question in early January, I would have had a much different answer than today. It’s an interesting time now for higher-ed technology. Pre-COVID-19, I’d have told you that digital transformation was the disruptor that would enable dramatic shifts in the classroom and across the entire institution.
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Today’s reality is that the coronavirus itself became the disruptor that forced institutions to think about digital transformation on a scale and compressed timeline that they never imagined. Classrooms that remained essentially unchanged over the last 100 years now look very different. And the conversations we’re having with academic and institutional leaders have changed just as dramatically. Whereas there was some skepticism around the benefits of digital transformation as a disruptor before, now we’re seeing a widespread willingness and eagerness to embrace it. Those institutions that have been slower to adopt technology are recognizing that it will be a critical element of their survival in the COVID age.